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Lifting the floor? Economic development, social protection and the developing World's poorest

Juan Margitic and Martin Ravallion

Journal of Development Economics, 2019, vol. 139, issue C, 97-108

Abstract: It is theoretically ambiguous whether people in richer countries have a higher floor to their living standards. Nor is it clear whether social protection spending reaches the poorest and thus lifts the floor. Across countries, the paper finds that higher mean incomes come with a higher floor. The bulk of this is direct rather than via public spending on social protection. Social insurance (mainly public pensions) does the “heavy lifting” of the floor. Social assistance (mainly targeted cash-transfers) lifts the floor by only 1.5 cents per day on average, which is less than 10% of mean spending on social assistance.

Keywords: Poverty; Inequality; Floor; Social insurance; Social assistance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I32 I38 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:139:y:2019:i:c:p:97-108